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Beached! | by peggyjdb
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1834AD 13th April, Rio Santa Cruz. Charles Darwin starts on 'expedition no. 5'. Darwin had been the second choice of Captain Robert FitzRoy to join him on HMS Beagle for the expedition to chart the coastline of South America. The expedition left England in 1831AD and arrived back in 1836AD.


Having the left the Falklands HMS Beagle arrives at the mouth of the Rio Santa Cruz and Captain FitzRoy prepares for an expedition up the Rio Santa Cruz Valley to find its source, 300km away in the Andes. FitzRoy had chosen the Rio Santa Cruz as an ideal place to lay her ashore. HMS Beagle had suffered some minor damage to the keel and damage to copper sheets, which were repaired whilst the group of 25 went on the expedition.


'Expedition no. 5' didn't reach its goal due to reducing rations, however it was rewarding with a lot of contribution to the work of Captain FitzRoy and Darwin - it had been a high point in their overall expedition. In particular it had strengthened Darwin's theory that the planet was in a state of constant flux was becoming stronger and stronger as he saw that the cliffs of the river valley, and indeed the Andes Mountains themselves, had been slowly raising above sea level.


Once the HMS Beagle had been repaired she re-entered the tropical waters and the expedition continued towards the Magdalen Channel.


This view of HMS Beagle is taken from a painting by Conrad Martens

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Taken on January 25, 2015